A symbiosis that is upgrading skills education in India

How Skills Universities are changing a mindset

When Dr. Swati Mujumdar decided to kick start two skill development universities in India, it was a bold decision. Not only did she want to build up a new education system – to be successful she also needed a rethink of Indian parents when it comes to skilling!

Skill education is traditionally considered to be a forced choice for students in India when they end up getting no admission to conventional degree programs. It is so much looked down upon that parents of Indian girls do not prefer marrying their daughters to someone who has taken up any vocational education. But thanks to some aggressive initiatives taken by the governments, skill education is starting to get the due respect at all levels.

How Skills Universities are changing the mindset

At the forefront of this initiative the Symbiosis Skills Universities (SSU) are promoting skills education in India. Under the leadership of Dr. Swati Mujumdar the organisation decided to foray into skill development universities. At SSUs, the focus is not only to enhance machine operating or technical skills of graduates but also their creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Symbiosis is a leading educational group of India. Thousands of students are studying in its conventional educational institutions across the country. You might say that it is this experiment of SSUs that has brought about a disruption in the higher education today.



Lucas-Nülle helps focussing on hands-on training

The unique SSU teaching pedagogy involves minimum 70% teaching through experiential learning – practical, hands-on and skill sessions. Students get to learn by doing and working on formative assignments in every course of a program. Since Symbiosis believes in outcome-based teaching, the hands-on training approach of Lucas-Nülle Training Systems is just right. Using these labs, students can get the much-coveted industry skills.

As well at the Symbiosis University Indore as at Symbiosis University Pune, Lucas-Nülle installed multiple laps including the topics Automotive Technology, Hybrid and Electric Vehicles or Industrial Automation. The German training equipment provider has also been training teachers from both universities. That also enables SSU to open its training portfolio. Using Lucas-Nülle labs, also working professionals are now trained at the Skills Universities.


Featured Interview
Dr. Swati Mujumdar, as Pro-Chancellor of the Symbiosis Skill Universities, is blending skill education with the higher education system. This way SSUs can help India to reap benefits of its demographic dividends.


How did you come up with the concept of Symbiosis Skills Universities?

Skill development is an important driver for industrial and economic growth of our country. For crystalizing “Make in India” and “Skill !ndia“ vision of our Hon‘ble. Prime Minister, a large pool of skilled workforce is required to be developed. Our country has a demographic dividend, which makes it the youngest country in the world. We can harness this young generation by providing them skills and work.

So, how did you go about it?

We studied various models of skill development and vocational education before we developed an innovative model of Skill Development University. During our research, we encountered two major problems: Students hesitated to enrol themselves in skill development courses as they do not find vertical mobility, i.e. all the way from certificate to degree programs in skill education. The second reason was social acceptability. To address these problems, we have established a Skill Development University which will provide a range of skill-based courses at all levels in line with the industry needs. These were the reasons which germinated the idea of a skills university. Today we have Symbiosis Skills & Open University in the city of Pune as well as Symbiosis University of Applied Sciences in lndore.

How is Symbiosis Skills and Open University different from other conventional Universities?

The main idea of setting up Symbiosis Skills and Open University {SSOU) is to create ‚industry ready’ youth. The students of SSU can be gainfully employed upon completion of their courses. All programs offered by this University have been mapped with the job roles in the industry and the industry has helped to develop the curricula. The focus is on providing hands on training to the students with 70% experimental learning including practical, skills and laboratory sessions. The students are exposed to latest cutting-edge technologies. The specialized skill training labs and centres of excellence on the university campus were set up by various industry partners. Coupled with this, the students are also sent for industry internships every year, to ensure exercises form an integral part of the course curriculum.

What are the different types of programmes SSOU will offer?

 SSOU provides certificate, diploma and degree programs in high growth sectors of Automotive, Construction, Mechatronics, Retail, Architecture, Urban Development, Ports and Terminal Management as well as Beauty and Wellness. The University also plans to have a Department of Open, Distance Learning and Continuing Education to reach the unreached.

What are the salient features of SSOU?

The largest campus with stateof- the-art infrastructure has labs, workshops and specialised machinery for skilled training. It also contains centres of excellence, studios for broadcasting online lectures and other facilities to provide quality education and practical experience to students. A school of interdisciplinary science provides life coping skills, communications skills, soft skills, language training to students which help to create confident personalities. SSOU has partnered with top global industries and foreign universities to provide relevant skill-based education and practical training to students.


Automotive   Automation
- 30.08.2019